with Lisa Hendry & Tara Hanes
Today’s massage therapy profession is committed to utilizing techniques informed from research and evidence. An ‘evidence-informed practice’ is one in which clinicians are aware of emerging evidence, and rationally integrate new information into their clinical reasoning, keeping the best interests and goals of their patients in mind at all times.Richard Lebert
Fascial Release is a technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the fascial connective tissue restrictions to restore motion and function. Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create fascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.) Treatments can include hands-on mobilization of the tissues, posture and movement awareness, self-treatment instruction, and enhancement of strength.
Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a gentle manual therapy technique that assesses the relationship between the body’s organs (e.g. bladder, bowel, uterus, etc.) and others structures, like muscles, fascia, ligaments and joints. Visceral massage is part of both functional medicine and ancient traditional therapy. It is an emerging therapeutic area in clinical practice, addressing conditions such as IBS, lower back pain and a range of both gut issues and emotional concerns. Visceral Manipulation has been effective in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.
There is a running dialogue between the gut and the brain that an experienced massage therapist can facilitate by providing a positive connection between them.
End Range Loading Techniques (ERL) is essentially taking tissue (nerves, tendons, discs, connective tissue) into a position of tension and then applying an overpressure to stretch and/or glide the affected tissue to assist with improved function and reduced pain. This technique can help reshape slipped or herniated discs, remove nerve entrapments, speed up tendon strain healing, and release chronic myofascial adhesions.
Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a manual therapy that uses the gentle muscle contractions of the patient to relax muscles and normalize joint motion. It is considered an active technique, as opposed to a passive technique where only the massage therapist does the work.
CST is a non-invasive, hands-on therapy that aims to enhance the body’s own healing capabilities. CST uses a touch of under 5 grams to “release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.” This light touch is said to affect the pressure and circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, which is the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. This process is thought to relieve pain and dysfunction.
Neuromuscular therapy is a form of soft tissue manipulation that aims to treat underlying causes of chronic pain involving the muscular and nervous systems. This medically-oriented form of massage addresses trigger points (tender muscles points), circulation, nerve compression, postural issues, and biomechanical problems that can be caused by repetitive movement injuries.
L.A.S.T. affects the connective tissues of the body, mainly ligaments, joint capsules, fascia, muscles, tendons and indirectly, lymphatic and blood flow and the autonomic nervous system. Manual techniques that target mechanoreceptors (pressure) have been proven to affect autonomic functions such as lowering sympathetic nervous system activity, increase local proprioception (balance), decrease muscle tension and affect both the local blood supply and the local tissue glide. In a study presented at the Third International Fascia Research Congress, it concluded that specific fascial receptor techniques might not only improve range of motion but also have a longer lasting effect than classical massage techniques.
These externally applied fascial techniques target restoration of mobility and motility of primarily the uterus and bladder. Pelvic physical therapy can help not only with fascial pelvic pain but also reduce symptoms of other conditions caused by pelvic floor problems, such as urinary and fecal incontinence, painful intercourse, and sexual dysfunction. The therapist may recommend internal vaginal assessment by a certified physiotherapist. Hannah Barnes is our certified pelvic floor physiotherapist.